Introduction Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
When I asked you to name an email Marketing instrument, what would you say? Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
MailChimp? Aweber? ActiveCampaign?
Like many online industries today, email advertising continues to be Dominated by the same big players for the last decade. Which means they get promoted very heavily and accomplish a great deal of mindshare.
Now and then, however, an Underdog disrupts the market, inducing long-time users to question their loyalties.
MailerLite has done precisely that.
So today, in this review, I will be tearing MailerLite from limb To limb to see whether it stands its ground against the big boys…
…and, what’s more, whether youshould consider making the switch.
– Uses tag-based system (called Groups)
– Powerful Segmentation using principles
– Custom Fields for advanced email personalization
– Advanced Campaign types (auto-resend, A/B, etc.. )
– Easy to Utilize email builder/template editor
– Practical Email elements such as countdowns and merchandise boxes
– Intuitive Type, popup and landing page builder
– Supports Automations employing visual workflows
– Offers Both digestible and in-depth reporting
– A Fraction of the price compared to most other solutions
– Strict Approval procedure
– Few email Templates accessible
– Very few Form templates accessible
– Can’t Create emails without leaving the visual workflow builder
– No Support for website monitoring Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
Like most email marketing providers these days, you will need to Go through a review process before being able to properly use the program.
When you first sign up, you’ll be asked to finish your profile.
This includes information such as your company name, website, Industry, address, business size, record size and even the kind of material you plan to send.
Then, You Have to verify your Website (or domain name).
This remains part of the approval process, and MailerLite will Simply inquire which email is related to this domain so they can email you a confirmation link.
Once you’ve completed those Steps, you ought to wait it out.
The MailerLite staff will review your application, check your Website, and ascertain whether you’re a good match for their service.
(Quite simply, they’re making sure you’re not a spammer/scammer)
As shown above, you’ll nevertheless be Able to utilize the software to create campaigns and perform with the attributes, but you won’t be able to send anything until approved.
I was”partially” approved within a few hours, which gave me a Temporary limitation of 500 subscribers.
Here’s what the email said:
However, while these steps are not ideal for getting started, it Does help stop unscrupulous users from hurting everybody’s deliverability.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rely on automations to handle Nearly all your email marketing.
(We’ll get to automations shortly, don’t worry.)
But whether it’s a new blog post, podcast, or timely Announcement, there is always a reason to send a more immediate email.
That’s where’Campaigns’ come in.
Clicking the brand new’Produce Campaign’ will give you several options.
– Regular effort: A traditional broadcast email.
– A/B split campaign: Multiple email Variations, including subject line, from name and, yes, even content. (Woop!)
– Auto resend: Resend to subscribers who Do not open your broadcast email, with the option of altering the subject line and email content.
– RSS effort: Produce a recurring campaign That sends new content to subscribers using your website’s RSS feed.
Apart from a few additional choices, the Majority of these will follow The exact same step-by-step process of a normal effort.
So let’s walk you through it.
As Soon as You click on to create your campaign, you’ll be asked to Pick a preferred editor, whether that be the dragn’ drop, rich text or HTML.
You can change to the Templates tab and choose from among the pre-designed email templates — that will move you into the dragn’ drop editor by default.
At the time of writing, there are 21 email templates to choose From which is a little on the low side, however, the designs are super modern.
And, of course, if you’d just Like to reuse a previous email, you can click the’Recent Emails’ tab.
For this instance, I’ll select the first template in the library.
The editor is easy to use, Making customizing these templates a 5-minute job.
You can also use the blocks in the sidebar to add different Kinds of content to your email, such as videos, product columns, and societal links.
After making your adjustments, simply click’Done Editing’ and you will Be carried to the recipients’ choices where you are able to select your classes or segments.
The tab also allows one To develop segment-like rules on-the-fly, in case your targeting is not quite right.
Finally, right before sending, you’ll get to the’Schedule’ screen.
This is where you control when your broadcast email should go Out, if that is instantly, at a set time/date, or according to your subscribers time zones.
Impressive, right? Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
Managing Your Subscribers
Possessing granular control over your subscribers is arguably one of The most essential facets of any email advertising software now.
Because highly personalized efforts Are Essential if You’re searching to increase opens, clicks, and, above all, your conversions.
And while many providers Permit You to”tag” readers in order To target them effectively, MailerLite utilizes a slightly different strategy.
When you start up your subscriber dashboard, you’ll see two Options; Segments and Groups.
Segments are essentially rules.
Your subscribers belong to a section only when they fulfill the Specified rules, and will be automatically inserted or eliminated so.
Here is what setting up a rule looks like:
Notice the way you can even combine Principles, in addition to another rule if the first doesn’t exist.
Pretty smart, eh?
The next tab is for classes, and also the difference in name, These behave much like your usual”tagging” system.
(MailerLite even debated Changing the name to’Tags’, but ultimately decided against it.)
Contrary to Segments, Groups are updated manually or via an Automation rule — which we’ll get into in a moment — and they have no value besides what you actually call them.
As you start to use this platform, you’ll Start to understand At which Segments and Groups are generally used, but MailerLite offers a hand in the event you’re uncertain:
Fundamentally, groups are much more of a Deliberate action on a per-subscriber foundation, whereas Segments permit you to bulge multiple contributors together according to a common denominator.
Somewhat confusing, I’ll admit… but I feel it is a fair trade-off For the additional flexibility. In any case, they’re optional.
Finally, the’Fields’ tab is used to personalize your email copy.
You’ll notice that MailerLite has Already populated this region with their own areas, such as name, business, and country.
If you want to create your own custom fields, you can do so by Clicking on the’Add new field’ button.
So how do they actually work?
You can either upload a CSV record of your readers along with Your custom field data in separate columns… or may easily add these fields to a forms which will only apply to prospective readers.
Here’s a screenshot of a test field I made and added into a form:
I won’t go too much into the shape Stuff here because I have a whole section on that below, but this is the strategy I would recommend if you wished to use this attribute.
Again, as Soon as You’ve gathered your custom field information from fresh Subscribers, you are able to pull them into your email content and subject line.
Just click the’Personalization’ drop down and choose your Custom field.
I’m barely scraping the surface Of what’s possible with custom fields, but it is important that you understand that this is a feature you can use.
Overall, it is fair to say MailerLite has their subscriber Management and personalization features on stage. Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
If you are not impressed by what you’ve seen up to Now, then maybe The webpage builder will tickle your fancy.
After selecting’Landing Pages’ from the forms page, you’ll be Able to pick from 8 pre-designed templates.
Again, while the template choice Is not winning any awards, it will offer a great foundation to work from if, like most of us, you don’t have that natural eye for layout.
I went ahead and selected the’Lead Generation’ template, though They all ultimately do the same job; collect an email address.
This time, the editor will give you 17 building blocks to Further build or change your landing page.
Now, I’ve used my fair share of Visual page builders, and it is already better than a few dedicated solutions *cough* WPBakery.
Along with the basic building blocks, you can use components like Hero sections, popup buttons, testimonials and countdown timers.
It will not be replacing landing Page builders such as Thrive Architect or LeadPagesanytime shortly, but credit where credit due, this item over-delivers on all three kind types.
Form Builder Tool
Unlike some email marketing tools, MailerLite really offers a Adequate set of type building tools.
Not only that, but you can also create popups and landing pages Through this exact same interface, so there is a lot to cover .
Let’s start with your Bog-standard embedded type.
These forms are first created inside MailerLite so as to get An embed code, which you can then place on your site to display it on particular pages.
Despite beginning super fundamental, the form designer allows you To customize everything from the form style, fields, background, name, input fields and, of course, the button.
Form text can also be edited directly, which Provides you a Opportunity To visualize your copy in real-time.
It would have been nice to have Some templates here, but as you know, there’s more to some form than just its appearance.
Clicking the’Settings’ tab will Make It Possible for you to configure how the Form functions, such as adding additional fields and setting a custom success page.
(There is a GDPR compliance option. Sweet.)
And speaking of the success webpage…
…MailerLite also enables you to customize the default message, That can replace the embedded kind and prevents users .
Last but certainly not least, you Can assess how your form screens on mobile by shifting the toggle to reactive mode.
You won’t be able to make any design changes here, but it makes Sense to test, nevertheless.
So that’s an Summary of this Embedded form but as I said before, you can even create popup forms in MailerLite.
While the Vast Majority of this setup Procedure is identical, there are Still a few differences I’d love to point out.
Unlike embedded forms, you can choose between a set of Templates:
While this isn’t the most In depth selection, they do provide a good base to work from and the editor is at least as easy to use with this form type.
Clicking on the’E-commerce’ template takes me to a preview Before moving into the editor.
Here, you’ll notice there are a few new options under form types Now around:
Contemplating paid tools like Thrive Leads exist for both ribbons and slide-in forms, it’s pretty impressive to see this amount of control over popup types.
And, like before, you can perform with the styling options to get it Matched up with your own branding.
Finally, you can choose the close Behaviour of your form under the’Settings’ tab.
The default option is the X icon, but you can swap out this for A”No thanks” text option, or have both.
That is really where most email Marketing platforms would leave you, but MailerLite has yet another trick up its sleeve.
Reporting & Analytics
Like many tools, you’ll find a summary of your effort Statistics in the main dashboard.
Here you’ll see everything from effort open and click data, Subscriber development, automation stats, and form signups.
Clicking into any effort will Give you special coverage for this effort.
This is where you’ll discover a few statistics such as Unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces, reading surroundings, email client and much more.
This should be plenty of Information for the ordinary user…
…but in Case You really want To dig into the numbers, you can click into individual areas of this report for a more detailed breakdown.
You can find some real gems under These reports.
By Way of Example, the’View Mail’ tab also shows a click map, so It’s possible to see your readers interacted with your mails in relation to one another.
Reports for automations will also be Accessible under the’Automations’ tab, even although I found to be less insightful than campaign reports.
Here’s a quick example:
Overall, MailerLite does a Stellar job with their reporting port, and many will find the available statistics more than enough to fulfill their demands.
What’s email advertising without a dash of automation?
For most reading this, MailerLite’s automation capabilities Could easily make or break this review.
The great news? If you have used a visual workflow builder, then You will instantly feel at home here…
Much like the rest of MailerLite, The automations interface is easy, clean and easy to navigate — something which certainly can not be said for every email marketing program.
After establishing your trigger, you can Start adding measures to your workflow.
These measures can be anything from sending an email, including a Postpone, a conditional split, or an act, such as transferring a contributor or updating their records.
Here’s a simple workflow I put together, where subscribers Are unsubscribed when they do not open my email within 7 days.
There are countless Possibilities in regards to workflow automations like this, and MailerLite ought to not have any trouble with the huge majority of use cases.
Granted, it’s not quite as Feature-rich as something like ActiveCampaign because it lacks a number of the conditional elements. (Split, Go To, Goal, etc.)
For example, there’s now no automation for moving Readers directly into a different automation.
That being said, the Majority of these activities can still be achieved by moving Subscribers into different classes that activate new automation workflows. It’s just not as efficient…. yet.
Another question of efficiency here is when creating new mails From the automation workflow builder.
After adding an email block to The workflow, you will be asked to put in your topic line which appears on the block itself.
From there, clicking on the’Design email’ button will fire up the Writer:
Now, you’ll be temporarily Redirected to the typical campaign creation wizard, which I covered earlier in the review.
This time, however, as Soon as You’ve established your email, clicking on the ‘Done editing’ button will guide you straight back to the automations workflow instead of the usual sending options.
Ultimately, your email address will be Loaded into your automation.
A Wonderful touch here is having a thumbnail preview of your Email inside your automation block, so it’s possible to get an idea about what it contains at a glimpse.
While this procedure may seem like A grind on paper, it’s actually much faster than what I am utilized to with other email advertising tools — ActiveCampaign being a great example.
On the other hand, if you have come over from something like ConvertKit where The editor is loaded within the automations builder, you’ll probably find that this downgrade in performance.
It’s quick enough for me, Personally, but I guess it is all relative.
Before I wrap up this segment, there is 1 type of automation You won’t find in MailerLite, and I think that it’s important to highlight.
The ability to activate an automation (or measure ) based on how Readers interact with the webpages on your website.
This kind of behavioral targeting just isn’t available in MailerLite at this time, so if it’s something you use or intend to utilize, you might want to skip this one. Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software
The Price of MailerLite is no doubt among the tools largest Selling points, and let’s face it, we all love a good bargain.
For starters, they offer an infinite free plan that includes All attributes (including premium) for up to 1,000 subscribers.
While there is some subtle Branding on your mails using this plan, it is still an amazing option for those starting out.
And what about the premium programs?
It ends up, at around half the Cost of this rivalry on average, MailerLite is undoubtedly one of the least expensive options available on the market. Plus, if you’re willing to pay annually, you can also get an even better discount.
In fact, I have not been able to locate anything that does the same job, cheaper.
MailerLite is one of those very few marketing tools to disrupt The (very crowded) industry in the last couple of years, which is no simple feat.
While it is not as quickly as ConvertKit, or as feature-rich As ActiveCampaign, or as template-heavy as MailChimp, it works exceptionally well at virtually anything you can throw at it.
I find MailerLite strikes the best balance Between flexibility, speed and simplicity, and all at a price point you will seriously struggle to beat.
Thinking of giving it a twist? Let us know how it works for you From the remarks. Best Self Hosted Email Marketing Software